San Dieguito Academy

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Coordinates: 33°2′14.82″N 117°16′30.07″W / 33.0374500°N 117.2750194°W / 33.0374500; -117.2750194

San Dieguito Academy
San dieguito academy.jpg
800 Santa Fe Dr.

School districtSan Dieguito Union High School District
PrincipalAdam Camacho
Enrollment1,834 (2016-17)[1]
NewspaperThe Mustang
YearbookThe Hoofprint
Historic Mustangs signboard before it was removed in 2013; restored in 2017
Senior Court (prior to demolition in 2015 for a new Math & Science Building)

San Dieguito High School Academy, originally known as San Dieguito Union High School and San Dieguito High School, is a public high school in the San Dieguito Union High School District in Encinitas, California, San Diego County, which was established in 1936.[2]

General information[edit]

1,584 students were enrolled at San Dieguito High School Academy in the 2013–2014 school year with a senior class of over 350 students.[3] The pupil-teacher ratio is 27:1.[4] The average SAT score in 2013–2014 was 1840 and the average ACT score was 27.[5] The student body is 71% Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 7% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2% other.[6] During the 2012–2013 school year, San Dieguito Academy's senior class had a 98.43% graduation rate.[7]


The school was founded in 1936 as the first public high school within the new San Dieguito Union High School District, educating students in grades 8 through 12.[1]

As the campus had not yet been built when school started September 14, 1936, students attended classes in tents.

In 1996 San Dieguito High School was re-designed as a "school of choice" and renamed San Dieguito High School Academy to offer a student centered environment for a maximum of 1,450 students. [2]

All students living within the district may enroll at either La Costa Canyon High School or Torrey Pines High School within their attendance areas, but they are also eligible to attend San Dieguito Academy and Canyon Crest Academy, both of which are designed to be "schools of choice." Typically, more students apply than there are available spaces, so a lottery of applicants is conducted to determine who may attend. New students with siblings that already attend SDA are automatically enrolled to the school.

One hallmark of a San Dieguito Union High School District academy is a "4x4" class schedule as opposed to a more traditional "rotating block schedule". This means that students may take four 90-minute classes every day during an 18-week course, completing eight classes (80 credits) a year.

In 1998, the school had roughly 1000 students, and by 2002, had 1500 (population limits of district high schools and academies are required to grow relative to the district). Fall 2003 enrollment was 1462.

In the fall of 2015, construction began on the new Math & Science building in the place of old Senior Court. Construction funded by SDUHSD voter-approved Proposition AA bond measure.


San Dieguito Academy is a part of CIF and a member of the North County Conference playing in the Avocado West; student athletes may participate in 21 varsity/junior varsity level sports.[3]

From 1936 to 1995, football was a strong tradition at San Dieguito, but has not been played as a team sport on campus since the school became a district school of choice. At that time, the football team moved to the newly opened La Costa Canyon High School. Now the homecoming festivities center around an annual flag football game of faculty vs. students.

The Mustang Surf Team won the Red Bull High School Cup in 2007. The surf team also won the 2007 National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) Championships that same year.

In 2016, The San Dieguito Academy Boys Tennis Team won the CIF San Diego Section Team Championship.

In 1987, San Dieguito High School was the first Boys Volleyball CIF Championship in San Diego County as club season. In 1988, San Dieguito High School won the first official Boys Volleyball CIF Championship season in San Diego. In 2016, the Boys Volleyball Team won The Division III CIF Championship. This is the second CIF Championship for the Boys Volleyball team who won the CIF Championship in 2014. It the first athletic CIF title since the school became an academy in 1996. The Mustangs competed in the 2016 Southern California Regional Tournament as the 6th seed. They swept La Verne's Damien High School but lost to Watts' David Starr Jordan High School in five sets in the quarterfinal match. They were the last San Diego Section team to be eliminated, led by head coach Raymond Wilson and assistant coach Brady Dinnsen.

In 2016, the Boys Water Polo Team advanced to the Division III CIF Championship Game for the first time in school history.

In 2018, the Boys Volleyball Team was the runner up in the Division II CIF Championship. SDA beat Santana at home, continuing on toe beat both 4th seed San Pasqual and 1st seed St. Augustine on the road. SDA lost a nail biter final match in 5 sets, but was left with optimism for the 2019 season

Boys Water Polo banner at San Dieguito High School Academy in Encinitas

Academic Teams[edit]

SDA’s Academic Teams include Mustang Minds, Robotics and Speech and Debate. All Teams have competed at local, state, and national levels. 2010/11 School Year, SDA's Academic Teams comprise close to 150 enthusiastic SDA students. In the past two years, all teams have competed in their respective national events at least once with strong results.

SDA's Academic teams rely mostly on donated resources facilitated by the San Dieguito Academy Foundation (SDAF) Academic Council. The Academic Council meets the 4th Monday of the Month, at 6:30 p.m. at SDA in Building B’s Conference Room. Anyone is invited.

Mustang Minds[edit]

SDA’s Academic League Teams include a Varsity Quiz Bowl Team and Mustang Mind Teams led by Mrs. Parks that compete in quiz bowl style matches and tournaments. Quiz bowl style matches are team-based and fast-paced, Jeopardy-style competition that includes answering knowledge based questions via a lock-out buzzer system. Questions span multiple disciplines including history, art, math, literature, social sciences, science, world languages, mythology, philosophy, and current events.

Varsity Quiz Bowl Team[edit]

Varsity Quiz Bowl Team consists of SDA Seniors that compete in Tournaments throughout Southern California as part of the National Academic Quiz Team (NAQT). SDA’s team has been nationally ranked qualifying for the NAQT-High School Championship Tournament and PACE –High School Championship Tournament.

Mustang Mind Teams[edit]

Mustang Minds has three teams: Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity Teams. Mustang Mind Teams compete in the Coast League Division, a member of the North County Academic League (N.C.A.L). N.C.A.L. matches are quiz bowl style dedicated to the demonstration of academic competition, scholastic excellence, and educational achievement. High School team matches consist of five active players on each team with player substitutions during timed rounds.

Controversial Issues Forum[edit]

SDA's Controversial Issues Forum talks about issues that are trending in current news. The group was started in 2010 by a handful of students interested in generating interest in global issues. The Forum was nationally ranked for its attendance numbers by the think-tank, Trending Issues Now, located in Washington D.C.


The Robotics team, known as Team Paradox, builds robots for competitions. Every year, the team competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition, which creates a game that requires a specific set of skills for which teams must create a successful robot. The participating teams are then given six weeks to design, build, and program a robot. Competitions are held after this period, leading up to the international championship. Team Paradox is supported by many sponsors, including AFCEA, QUALCOMM Incorporated, SAIC, ViaSat and Nordson ASYMTEK. Team Paradox is FIRST Robotics Competition Team 2102. Team Paradox has won the San Diego Regional competition in consecutive years (2016-17) and were finalists at the competition in 2018.


San Dieguito Academy, along with surrounding schools, plays host to a competitive student improvisational comedy team. The team has over 30 members, and has found success against rival institutions. While most matches are played by senior members, many of the underclassmen participate in events, camps, and weekly practices to hone their comedic skills in preparation to show their team they can represent their school in a game.

Speech and Debate Team[edit]

San Dieguito Academy has a competitive speech and debate team, which competes in multiple activities throughout the season (August to June). The team has been recognized on a national level, and competes at tournaments. The team has won multiple Tournament of Champions(TOC) bids, qualifying a policy debate team to attend the TOC, a tournament of the best debates from around the country.


The SDA debate team primarily focuses on both Policy and Lincoln Douglas (LD) debate. Policy debate emphasizes governmental law, and Lincoln Douglas generally has a greater focus on the morality of laws, role of governments, and extent of individual rights in international relations. Both types of argumentation are divided into two skill levels: Varsity (for those with one or more years of debate experience), and Novice (for first year competitors).


San Dieguito Academy's speech team has received multiple awards and achievements over the past years. Recently, it has become more active in the San Diego Imperial Valley League. In 2010, several SDA students qualified for the California State Championships Tournament. The team competes in a wide variety of events including Impromptu, Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Prose and Poetry, Duo, Dramatic Interpretation, Original Interpretation, and Student Congress and has competed at the following tournaments: CSU Fullerton, Novice Individual Events, and La Costa Canyon Winter Classic. Some students have won Tournament of Champions bids which gave them a chance to be nationally recognized.

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "San Dieguito High Academy". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  2. ^ Archived August 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^
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  7. ^ "2013-14 School Accountability Report Card" (PDF). San Dieguito Academy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-19.

External links[edit]